A walk on the road like none other...Well, almost...A story of new life...More meaningful friend/reader comments...

The pregnant alpaca with this adorable unusual white marking on her face, the day prior to giving birth.
The only other country where a walk in the neighborhood bestowed such magical wonders upon us was in South Africa, when on one of our first walks we encountered "Clive," the ostrich who later proved to be "Clove" when she had chicks after we'd left.  Here's the link for that post and the photo below:

 We couldn't have been more thrilled to see this site on our first walk in the neighborhood.  Click here for that post.  Click here to see the photos of Clive/Clove in front of our house a month later when she made a personal visit.
After that experience never made an assumption that a walk in the neighborhood would make us smile to the point of returning home with a glow far beyond the benefit of the much needed exercise. 
Tom is still at a loss as to why he's "walking" in retirement but one can hardly travel the world and not walk on a consistent basis.  He always says with a grin from ear to ear, "I never imagined walking much in retirement, other than from the sofa to the cupboard for more candy."  Ha!  Look at him now!  I'm impressed to say to least!

The next day, the "cria" was born. (A cria (pronounced /kriː.ə/) is the name for a baby camelid such as a llama, alpaca, vicuña, or guanaco. It comes from the Spanish word cría, meaning "baby)".  The baby lay listless on the ground for a day or two.  We watched with a sense of worry wondering if it was OK.
In this glorious area with so much to see, we can't help but get outside many times each day, let alone jump into the car for a drive.  Then again, sitting in my comfy rocking recliner as I write here today, I need only lift my head to look out the window to see alpacas on one hill and cows on another. 
The blue skies, the bordering forests and greenery on the rolling hills, takes our breathe away.  As a load of laundry is finishing in the washer, I anticipate its completion for the pleasure of hanging it on the clothesline outdoors when the crisp clean air stimulates our senses and the views leave us reeling with an indescribable high.

The next day, we were excited to see it had picked up its head and was more lively.  Note the cute pink nose.  The mother, dark brown, had a pure white baby.
Each morning, I slather on the insect repellent with an additional reapplication six hours later, which so far has prevented me from one more sandfly bite.  The original batch of bites from our first day finally subsided and I've learned my lesson.
We've also learned that we can open the screen-less heavy sliding doors for a few hours each day as long as we do it before 4 pm when zillions of flies will come inside.  Why this time of day?  We haven't figured that out yet.

Soon, the cria was on its feet walking about the paddock checking out the others pregnant moms and other cria.
Anyway...back to the walks.  We've found ourselves walking to the "pregnant mom's" paddock a short distance from the house to see if any babies have been born.  Trish and Neil explained they are usually born between 10 am and 2 pm, nature's way of ensuring moms are awake and alert to care for them.
When a few days ago, we noticed a newborn lying on the ground near the mom for hours, we were worried until finally we saw it move.  It appears this is a normal part of the process...the newborn lying on the ground for a few days until its strong enough to get up and walk about with its mom, nursing and beginning to interact with the others.  What a joy to see!

Now, they wander about the paddock together and sometimes apart.  Neil explained that at times the mothers may be less attentive than some other species.
And yesterday, on a walk slightly further down the road, we encountered a pregnant cow who saw us from a distance and ambled bulkily toward the fence to greet us appearing engaged and happy to see us.  Taking photos and talking to the cow, when we began to walk away, it started mooing loudly at us.  We laughed out loud surprised the cow was so disappointed to see us go.

This pregnant cow couldn't waddle over to the fence quickly enough when she saw us walking down the road.
The ability of animals to interact with humans never ceases to amaze us.  Its that level of communication, curiosity and interest we show one another that makes the observation of their daily lives so fascinating to us as we travel the world.
Whether its an ostrich, a cow, an elephant, a lion or a bird, they all are a part of this magical world in which we live and blissfully, we continue to explore as we travel from country to country, from continent to continent.  We are in awe and eternally grateful.

She wildly mooed at us when we began to wander away, making us laugh.
Another email comment arrived in my inbox this morning from a friend/reader, that inspires us and leaves us reeling with appreciation for every one of YOU taking the time to read our daily posts.  Here's Thelma's comment:
"I have been so excited for you to arrive at the Alpaca farm.  I look forward to hearing about them and New Zealand.  Since I cannot travel to all the places you have,  I love hearing your experiences.  I know you writing a blog each and every day is a lot of work.  I really appreciate that you take the time to share your adventures with us.  Know that each morning in Ohio a lady is sitting at her computer with her cup of tea and sharing in your travels.  Have a great day!  Cant wait till the alpacas will come up to you! Safe travels."
Thank you Thelma!  Thank you to all of our readers! 

 Photo from one year ago, January 24, 2015:
We walked along the pier in Hanalei Bay on a beautiful day.  Tom has some nice color from being outdoors in Kauai.  For more details, Please click here.


Tap and Margaret said...

Jessica and Tom,
If you think it would be interesting to others (and not to just us), we would like to know how it was driving from Auckland to New Plymouth. Lots of traffic? Signage/directions plentiful? And anything else you'd care to comment on concerning driving in NZ. Thanks so much for letting us be in on your adventure. I read it every morning. All the best, Margaret

Jessica said...

Tap & Margaret, we're happy to answer your inquiry! The roads from Auckland although mostly two lane highways. Every so often there are passing lanes which helped when stuck behind a slow moving vehicle or truck. The roads were well paved and maintained.

Overlook areas were tricky to notice at first until we were familiar with the small sign postings that showed a tree and picnic area. Not a lot of fuel and restroom stops along the way. Best to plan ahead. There were a few steep mountainous areas with sharp curves. Take caution in these area.

We encountered one single lane tunnel. Lots of great scenery but few places to stop for photos. The drive took approximately five hours but would be less since we stopped for photos when possible. We never stopped to eat and only stopped for one restroom break. Its best to stop at a chain restaurant than to try to find a restroom at a fuel stop. We had no choice but to find a park that had restrooms when the fuel station where we purchased grass didn't have a public restroom. Nice long drive with exceptional scenery that made the time fly.

Let us know how it goes and if we're still here when you arrive, let us know and we can get together, if you'd like! We're here until April 15, 2016.

Have a great day! Thanks for reading our site!

Warmest regards,
Jess & Tom

Jessica said...

Tap & Margaret, one more thing. Follow road sign to Hamilton where you'll easily spot signs to New Plymouth. Getting here is a breeze!

Jess & Tom

Elizabeth Banks said...

The Alpaca farm sounds amazing. Just my sort of place. I love that you can walk down the hill and witness the beauty of new life coming into the world. Stunning photos as usual Jess.

Jessica said...

Liz, I can easily imagine you loving it here! Its so YOU and your love of the countryside. Thanks for sharing your friendship and this journey with us.

Lots of love,
Jess & Tom

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